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What Is An SDK?

what is an sdk

SDKs are vital for software development. They allow you to create applications that integrate with existing platforms. Also, an SDK work as a complete package. It contains code, programs, and an API list. Hence, they can help you to simplify the development process. But what is an SDK? How can it benefit you? In this post, you will find all the details.

What Is An SDK?

SDK stands for the software development kit. As the name suggests, it provides you with a set of tools. By utilizing it, you can efficiently build and integrate apps into existing platforms. It is designed by the manufacturers of the operating system, hardware platform, programming language, or software.

You can use SDK on a specific platform. For example, you need an Android SDK [1] to build an Android app. For developing an iOS app, you will need an iOS SDK [2].

What is in An SDK?

An SDK contains a variety of components. They are:

  • Code libraries: Code libraries are a collection of prewritten code. You can use them to optimize the tasks.
  • APIs: API stands for Application Programming Interface. It helps you to easily connect your app to other services. Hence, you can effortlessly retrieve data.
  • IDE: IDE stands for the Integrated Development Environment. It is the interface through which developers create programs.

What Are The Different Types of SDKs?

An average Android app uses 18.2 software development kits. They come in a variety of types. Let’s take a look at them.

  • SDKs by hardware: SDKs aren’t just available for web and mobile apps. You also need them for programming in the Internet of Things (IoT). For instance, the manufacturer of solar panels provides an SDK with its product. By utilizing it, you can conveniently create your own program.
  • Programming language SDK for web apps: Developers need SDKs that let them build applications in different programming languages, like Python, Ruby, JavaScript, or PHP.
  • Open source SDKs: Open source software development kits are free to use. You can invite other developers to modify and extend their functionality. It provides several advantages, including high customizability.
  • Proprietary SDKs: Unlike open-source software development kits, proprietary SDKs require you to have a license. Hence, you have to spend money to use it. Also, it doesn’t allow you to change the source code. As a result, proprietary SDKs offer enhanced security. They are suitable for developing proprietary apps.

These are some of the widely used SDK types. They allow you to efficiently build apps.

What Are The Characteristics of A Good SDK?

Good SDKs come with all the tools needed to create applications for a specific platform. Also, they offer a quick start guide for developers and code samples.

Here are the characteristics of a good SDK:

  • User-friendly
  • Provides plenty of functions to help you create valuable apps
  • Offers thorough documentation
  • Doesn’t negatively impact the device’s battery or data consumption
  • Works well with other web SDKs

These are the factors that differentiate a good SDK from others. Make sure to check them while picking up a software development kit.

What Are The Benefits of Software Development Kits?

SDKs provide several key advantages. For example, it enables software developers to quickly create applications. Let’s find out the details.

  • Faster deployment: Developers often get a short time to complete the program. Hence, it’s not possible to code every little thing from scratch. SDK provides app developers with all the necessary tools. Hence, you don’t have to code every piece of application from scratch. It makes the software development process more efficient.
  • Increased reach: SDK allows you to add value to your application by facilitating interoperability. Hence, more tools will be looking to integrate with your product. It will lead you to more exposure and increased reach.
  • Risk control: SDK allows you to protect critical functions from tampers. As a result, you can significantly reduce the associated risks.

What is an SDK: Software Development Kit vs. Application Programming Interface (API)

Software Development Kit (SDK) vs. Application Programming Interface (API): What Are The Differences?

You might get confused with Software Development Kits and Application Programming Interfaces. Many people think that they are the same. However, there are subtle differences.

The SDK allows you to conveniently build apps by offering a set of tools, including APIs. On the other hand, an API allows different apps and software to interact with each other. It is not a set of tools. Instead, it is a type of user interface. For example, you can use Weatherstack API to retrieve weather data for your application. It doesn’t offer a complete package. Instead, it provides an interface for other apps to communicate with the API.

Read: Everything You Need to Know About Weather Data API

An SDK can contain APIs. It is a complete toolkit. In other words, it is a full package. However, an API does not contain SDKs. It is a part of the entire toolkit.

The SDK provides the building blocks for integrated applications. On the other hand, the APIs allow different software applications to communicate with each other. Both of them are very important and useful for app development.

Read: What Is An API?

SDK Code Samples:

The Google Maps repo on GitHub [3] provides several code samples. They illustrate the use of the Maps SDK for Android.

Also, you can take a look at the documentation of AWS [4]. It provides numerous SDK code samples in JavaScript.

Are SDKs Good For My Apps?

SDKs are very useful. They aid in expediting the integration process. For instance, SDKs provide you with a full package of tools, APIs, and code. Hence, you can build new features and release new updates for your mobile apps faster. It makes your software application more efficient and dependable.

Also, the SDK helps you to quickly create apps. It offers a complete package of development tools and APIs. Hence, you don’t have to do anything from scratch. It boosts your development workflow. As a result, you can quickly build an entirely new app.

Overall, SDKs provide a wealth of benefits for software applications. Therefore, they are really good for your apps.

APILayer offers a suite of APIs. By utilizing them, you can quickly integrate new features into your software applications. Try them now for free.


What does an SDK do?
SDK allows you to develop apps for a specific platform. It provides you with the ability to build custom apps. The developers can connect the applications to other software.

What is the difference between SDK and API?
SDK is a complete toolset. It contains APIs. However, the API doesn’t contain SDK. It is not a full package. It’s just a type of user interface.

What is an SDK example?
An example of a great software development kit is the Java Development Kit (JDK). It provides the tools necessary to write and run Java programs with the JVM and JRE. Other notable SDK examples are Windows App SDK, the macOS SDK, and the iPhone SDK.

What is SDK and how do you use it?
An SDK is a set of tools that helps you conveniently create custom apps. Software development kits are designed for specific applications. Thus you will need an Android SDK toolkit to build an Android app. For developing an iPhone app, you will need an iOS SDK.

What is an Integrated Development Environment?
An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software suite for conveniently building applications. It combines common developer tools into a single GUI to boost your development workflow.


[1] https://developer.android.com/studio

[2] https://developer.apple.com/ios/

[3] https://github.com/googlemaps/android-samples

[4] https://docs.aws.amazon.com/sdk-for-javascript/v2/developer-guide/sdk-code-samples.html

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